The How and Why of Colon Transit Time Testing

Updated: Jan 17

Consume 1⁄2- 3⁄4 cup of corn or beets. If you can’t tolerate corn or beets due to poor gut health or food sensitivities, please use 4 charcoal capsules for testing purposes. You are going to note the first time you see the whole corn, redness from the beets or blackness from the charcoal in your stool and the last time you notice this. A healthy transit time should be 12-24 hours. This will give you data on your frequency and ability to track improvements from the comfort of your own toilet.

If you eat and immediately run to the bathroom or see food (outside of corn) in your stool regularly, I would venture to say your transit is too fast. This doesn’t allow the time your body needs to fully digest and absorb your food which can lead to more than just loose stools. You may suffer with chronic malnutrition meaning low vitamins and minerals, inability to gain weight, amongst a slew of other health concerns that may go hand and hand with the poor nutritional status. Stick with me I am going to give you lots of tips on correcting this and lead you through the root causes.

If you are someone who ate the corn and sees it for the first time 24 hours later and the last time 72 hours later, we have a whole new problem occurring. Things ain’t moving, friend. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. You might think you are out of the woods with the malnutrition, but you are not.

So, go make yourselves a large beet salad for lunch today and let's get a starting point of data!

Katie Morra MS, RD, LDN, IFMCP is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and Registered Dietitian specializing in gut health, the microbiome, and nutrition. Her functional medicine nutrition practice is based in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Katie focuses on the root causes of inflammation, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth, food sensitivities and leaky gut, amongst other chronic disease states.​

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